Winning a Parents’ Choice Award - “Tumble Leaf” Season 1 Awarded: Spring 2015
We’ve all seen them. Those little blurbs written on special products for children that sanctions them as, ‘Recommended by The Parents’ Choice Foundation’… or even more prestigious, the product is honored with a ‘Parents’ Choice Award’, recognizing the very best products for children.
Well, “Tumble Leaf” won a Parents’ Choice Gold Award for Season One!!
Here’s what they said when they presented us with the award...
Parents’ Choice Review
"Tumble Leaf is an original series from Amazon Studios that premiered in May of 2014. It's designed for preschoolers and is available to view online at Amazon Instant Videos. This inventive program exhibits some genuinely spectacular stop-motion photography.
Each half-hour program includes two separate stories, following the adventures of a little fox named Fig. He lives in the community of Tumble Leaf, which just happens to be the site of a magnificent abandoned shipwreck. Stories focus on Fig, his best friend (a caterpillar named Stick) and their pals as they explore the wreckage (which he calls "the finding place") and they all end up learning interesting facts about the mechanics of the items they discover. Balls, buckets, spy glasses, magnets - a world of discovery opens to Fig every time he finds a new treasure. It's a fanciful way to teach science and engineering concepts and Tumble Leaf deserves praise for making STEM educational programming so visually engaging.
In the episode "Fig Flies a Kite," Fig studies a butterfly and a balloon to help him understand science concepts that will get his own kite up in the air. In "Magnifying Glass," Fig and his friends learn that life is all about perspective; the world includes spectacular sights when you take the time to look closely and a little differently.
Tumble Leaf is a lovely program, achieving the fine balance of being inventive, compelling and educational. It's aimed at preschoolers but don't be surprised if it continues to appeal to children in kindergarten and even early elementary school—inspiring them to wonder about the mechanics of the items in the many "the finding places" in the real world around them—and how scientific discovery can happen through play."
-Gina Catanzarite ©2015 Parents' Choice
Gina Catanzarite is an award-winning television producer, writer, teacher, mom and media consultant in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She began her career in 1987 and counts 9 Emmy awards, 26 Emmy nominations, a Matrix award, two Pennsylvania Broadcasters’ Association Awards, 8 Telly Awards, and a screenwriting grant from the Theatre Association of Pennsylvania, among her professional honors.
“The Parent’s Choice Foundation is so respected and holds such high standards when making their award choices, it is an incredible honor to receive a gold award from them. Receiving a Parent’s Choice Award is extra-special, because if parents don’t approve of what we create, then our audience (kids) will never get to see it, experience it, and come to love it!”
-Kelli Bixler, Executive Producer
“It’s an honor to be recognized by a foundation known for helping parents make informed decisions on what their children view. We worked hard to make a worthwhile show for young viewers as well as their parents.”
-Drew Hodges, Creator & Executive Producer
We are all so proud of this recognition. Upon taking advantage of bragging rights, I found that I wasn’t the only one who didn’t know enough about The Parents’ Choice Foundation.
About the Parents’ Choice Foundation
Thanks to a little research and Claire S. Green (President, Parents’ Choice Foundation), I’m happy to share the origins of this great organization:
Parents’ Choice was established in 1978 when … well let’s just say when things were different. People used typewriters, went to the library to research areas of interest, Dr. Spock was the go-to guy, Oprah had a last name and was working at WJZ TV in Baltimore, MD, and believe it or not, seat-belts weren’t mandatory.
Diana Huss Green, mother, children’s book author and educator was teaching a graduate seminar in children’s literature at Radcliffe College (now Harvard ). A number of her students were women who had curtailed their academic studies to have children. They were smart and they were hungry to find quality learning materials for their kids.
Understanding that children learn through play - and learn most easily when they’re engaged (the emphasis wasn’t on entertainment in those days) - Mrs. Green set out to answer the recurring question:
"Where can parents find children’s books and toys that encourage a love of learning?"
Relying on recommendations from friends and family wasn’t enough. The children’s media marketplace was becoming difficult to navigate. Pediatricians, teachers, and librarians weren’t equipped to make specific lists for each child. Parents needed guidance – from experts who were also parents. Which toys encourage creative thinking? Which ones dramatic play? Which games are best for kids who love solving problems? Which books soothe a spirit or launch gales of laughter? Which toys or books inspired the world’s great innovators, thinkers and leaders? What will inspire generations to come? We had more questions than answers. We wanted to connect the dots. We wanted to find quality children’s toys and media that bridged the classroom to the playroom.
Mrs. Green crafted a clear mission: to search out and recommend products that help kids grow - imaginatively, physically, morally and mentally - fairly priced products that are fun, safe and socially sound.
Children’s book authors, illustrators and critics signed on. As did musicians and storytellers, pediatricians and psychiatrists, educators, librarians, scientists and engineers. All wanted to be a part of the grassroots movement that championed quality children’s books and toys. Mrs. Green was very smart and skillfully persuasive. She knew her subject matter, was passionate about the discipline required to learn, and genuinely wanted to showcase quality work. I should know; she’s my mother.
So, in 1978, the first issue of Parents’ Choice debuted. The groundswell began quietly at first; over the next few years it grew to a not-so-dull roar. The Parents’ Choice Awards shaped librarians' purchases and toy store offerings. Parents’ Choice Foundation soon earned the respect of parents, publishers, newsmakers and industry shapers.
In celebration of our 25th Anniversary, we produced lists of the Best 25 Toys and the Best 25 Books of 25 years. In commemoration of our 30th Anniversary, we launched Sandbox Summit. And plans for our 35th Anniversary are already in the works. After more than 34 years we continue the mission and the core beliefs set forth in 1978. We use our history as our guide to innovate; our legacy as thought leaders help us listen and learn. So please stay tuned. The next chapter of Parents’ Choice will be a page turner.
-Claire S. Green
A Winning Equation
To be considered for a Parents' Choice Award®, products must include excellent production values, universal human values, appeal to children, and age appropriateness. Above all, the Parents' Choice Awards committees look for products that entertain and teach with flair, stimulate imagination and inspire creativity. Judges are interested in how a product helps a child grow in many ways: socially, intellectually, emotionally, ethically, and physically. Products must be free of racial or gender bias and must not extol violence.
I learned that not only is The Parents’ Choice Foundation a very helpful resource, but also a very generous philanthropic foundation… they really do give back. Do yourself a favor and read all about The Parents’ Choice Foundation.